American Women in Business Sept. 22-28, 2020


On September 22nd of each year, American Business Women’s Day honors the accomplishments of businesswomen from around the nation. Take a moment to reflect on the contributions and achievements of the millions of women in the workforce. Also, consider the impact of millions of women business owners in the U.S.

The day also brings together businesswomen of diverse occupations to collaborate and network. The opportunity provides insight into platforms and inspirational ways for women to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally. Join us as we celebrate our women-in-business members.


Lyndsay Meiklem: Owner Glaze Handmade - The Vegan Potter

Lyndsay Meiklem Dean has reinvented herself after running Meiklem Kiln Works, a community based teaching studio for 16 yrs in Bozrah, CT. She closed her the studio in July 2018 and opened Glaze in August 2018. Glaze Handmade is a physical manifestation of one woman’s obsession with the craft of making pottery. She is self-taught and is constantly experimenting with new styles, designs and glazes, which add to her constantly evolving body of work. The studio and retail shop presents a unique experience for customers to step into a working pottery and watch the artist create.

Pamela Stone: Owner, Curated

From Boulder, CO, in addition to dabbling in interior design and gaining the cover of Colorado Homes and Lifestyles magazine and an article in the NY Times, I spent 12 years in higher education as a passionate marketing and branding executive in the fine and performing arts. Moving to beloved Mystic, CT in 2016 after visiting for 15 years, I married my arts, interior design and marketing background into an eclectic, globally inspired contemporary art gallery. The ultimate goal? To hear patrons sigh "ahhh, I would like to just live here."

Jacqueline Simard: Owner, Surface Skin Care

My name is Jacqueline Simard, owner of Surface Skin Care in Mystic. For more than 25 years, I have been an advocate of looking great by achieving healthy skin. At my intimate skin care center, I offer a full range of facial treatments designed to bring your natural glow to the surface. I welcome you to make an appointment and encourage you to take the time you need to feel healthy in your own skin.

Let's celebrate the kids (of all ages) going back to school — now through 9/14 all treatments include a complimentary paraffin wax treatment to soothe tired hands, as well. Schedule online at

Allison Kiley Nasin: General Manager, Capt. Daniel Packer Inne

From 1979 to 1983, my father, Richard "Dickie" Kiley, restored the Capt. Daniel Packer Inne. In 2001, while I was studying Communications and News Media at the University of Rhode Island, my father passed away suddenly. I helped my mother, Lulu Kiley, at the restaurant while still taking classes. While working at the restaurant, former General Manager Kelly Jackson and Business Manager Judy Hartley began teaching me everything from wine varietals to Quickbooks! I grew quite fond of pairing wine with food. This led to hosting themed wine dinners, expanding our wine list, and helping our guests choose wines for their special events, like rehearsal dinners and anniversary parties. In more recent years, I have been handling the business end of things. It has been a wonderful learning experience getting to know every aspect of the restaurant business.

In essence, you could say this business picked me as opposed to the other way around. I am grateful to help extend my father's legacy. My advice to other women who are beginning their careers would be to be present and accurate. When you are present, you are focused. When you are accurate, you do not have to spend your valuable time doing something twice that you could have done correctly the first time. With this advice, I know we are all human and sometimes we make mistakes. Try to use those times as teaching moments. Cheers to all the hard-working ladies!

Toosday Elliott: Owner, Salon Nevieve

My name is Toosday Elliott, the owner/manager of Salon Nevieve at 45 Williams Ave. in Mystic. I have been a hairdresser for over 20 years and when the opportunity arose to purchase a salon from the previous owner (my boss), Carlos (Carlos A ~Salon) I knew it was the next step for me; though I also knew as a mother of 2 active children that I didn’t want to pursue this alone. So after presenting the idea to my mother and sister we decided it would be a great opportunity for all of us and a chance to work together and create a business run by women, (my mom and sister support me behind the scenes handling accounting, social media, etc.)

My advice to other women is that while it is very rewarding to own your own business it is also very challenging. As women, we wear many hats...wife, mother, taxi driver, domestic engineer, cook, and nurse just to name a few. These hats don’t come off when running a business. Finding a work/life balance can be challenging. Finding a good support system both at work and at home is important. If you can accomplish this, the only thing left is to enjoy the ride! We are proud to represent women in business and the GMCC!

Maria Cerino: Owner, Seniors Helping Seniors

I started my business, a non-medical companion agency called Seniors Helping Seniors, in 2007. I was looking for a new opportunity where I could use what I learned in my career and my personal life over the prior twenty+ years. I also knew I needed to do something that directly helped others, and that an agency focused on client needs and providing the highest quality of services would be a tremendous benefit for families in our area. I was interested in the Seniors Helping Seniors business model because I’ve always had an affinity for working with seniors, so I decided to go for it.

My advice for women just starting out is, first and foremost, to choose a field that ignites your passion. Working in an industry or career that really matters to you is what makes it all worthwhile. Also consider setting up a small informal “board” of community mentors who might meet with you a few times as you’re developing your business, who can give you unbiased advice and resource referrals – you’ll need legal, financial, marketing, operations, HR, tech and other experts as you develop. Being able to bounce your ideas off of a few knowledgeable, experienced individuals who can help you develop a good work plan, and who can recommend local experts you’ll need to work with, is invaluable. Contact: | 860-536-4767

Courtney Moore & Maura Blaney: Owners, CMB Creative Group

Founded in 2006 by Courtney Moore and Maura Blaney, CMB Creative Group is a full-service advertising agency specializing in sales support, marketing, web and print design.

Courtney has been part of the local business community for years. She was educated at Southern Connecticut State University; worked in the newspaper industry. Prior to starting CMB, Courtney managed sales and administration for a local agency in Mystic. Courtney is married to Toby Halsey and lives in Mystic.

Maura brings many talents to CMB from her graphic design and web skills to her creative thinking. Maura graduated from Plymouth State in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with a BA in graphic design and ceramics and a minor in art history. Maura is married to Travis Paul and lives in Mystic.

Together - and individually - Courtney and Maura volunteer for events such as: Mystic Eats, Friar Tuck’s - ART events, River Jam Festival, Sails Up 4 Cancer and Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association Benefit Cup Committee in support of the Center for Hospice Care.

Maura and Courtney founded CMB to work with the community, stay creative and work for themselves. It can be challenging to run one’s own business but it is well worth it and is very satisfying to give back and to meet fellow business owners. Networking and being visible in one’s area is incredibly important for small businesses. Contact:

Jo Carol Wood : Interior Designer & Owner, Showhouse Ready, LLC

I have been in the field of Interior Decorating & Design for over 25 years. My journey began when I opened an Art Gallery in Avon, CT. From there I moved into Corporate Art, where I worked with many talented artists. I became a Designer for DOMAIN Furniture. I found inspiration from Domain's founder, Judy George, a woman who started her business from the back of her station wagon, where she traveled to her clients. In time she had grown a multi-store business, with exciting new ideas for home decorating. In time I went on to join ETHAN ALLEN, a company which is constantly keeping pace with the new and ever-changing market. They opened up the full world of Interior Decorating & Design to me. I have decorated a wide range of Homes & Offices.

I specialize in a full spectrum of WINDOW TREATMENTS from Curtains & Draperies to Cellular Shades, Blinds & Shutters. I also represent a wide range of fabric companies. I can offer Re-Upholstery for those with a special piece of furniture which needs a "face-life" or major reconstruction. I can advise those who need help with planning a home project, from choosing paint colors to selecting a perfect addition of furniture or accents for a room. I always felt encouraged and motivated by my Mother, a woman who was ahead of her time in her design & decorating style. She always had such a flair! I now offer “At-Home” Shopping Services, which allow me to travel to my customers & clients, making it convenient for them to make decisions from the comfort of their home. No home or office is the same, so I always look forward to a new challenge. It is very important to be up-to-date on all of the latest products and innovations, which I am.

Lorraine M Sanborn: Trainer & Coach, Isagenix

Here is a little of my story. After 30 years in the Life Insurance Industry and being the primary caregiver for my husband, he passed away 9 years ago and I had been his primary caregiver. I found myself putting myself on the back burner. I was beginning to become concerned about how I was going to maintain my health, energy and mental focus and achieve my weight goal. I was introduced to Isagenix and the Healthy Aging nutritional system 5 years ago the month I turned 72. Isagenix is an international health and wellness company that offers transformation solutions for 5 areas of our lives. Energy, Performance, Weight Loss, Healthy Aging and Wealth Creation.

I am so excited about how I feel and I am looking to expand my business and one of my goals for 2019 is to share this program with women over 50 so that they can live a life of vibrancy and vitality as I am doing. The best things in life are shared by people talking to people, and Isagenix will reward you for sharing our products with others.

I train and coach people around the world to set up a global internet businesses creating residual income and financial freedom.

We believe that everyone deserves optimal health and wealth at any age, so that they can enjoy what's really important in life!

Contact Lorraine:

Cell & Text: 860-235-0257

The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC)

The Council was founded by Fran Pastore in 1997 and is recognized as a pioneer in Connecticut’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Today, WBDC is at the heart of this ecosystem, as the only statewide organization focused on women entrepreneurs. Since our beginning, we have served over 14,000 clients, and assisted in the creation or expansion of over 6,000 businesses.

Our clients represent a variety of racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. We’ve worked with women (and men) starting home-based businesses, main street boutiques, and multi-million dollar enterprises.

In 2018, we were thrilled to expand our services to the Southeastern Connecticut region with the opening of WBDC’s third regional office in New London. WBDC is headquartered in Stamford in addition to the two regional offices. Our Derby office provides services throughout the Naugatuck Valley and New Haven. To learn more about WBDC’s programs and services go to, To schedule an appointment at our office in New London, please call 860-574-9246.

Supawan Au, Owner of Thai Sawasdee Restaurant Group

Thai Sawasdee Restaurant Group includes Thai Sawasdee in Groton, The Spice Club in Niantic, Pink Basil in the Olde Mistick Village and Samurai Noodle Bar and Grill in downtown Mystic. Supawant came to America as an Au Pair in 2005 with not much more than a dime in her hands. Her dream was to learn and practice English, see America and possibly get a piece of the “American Dream”. After doing her time as an Au Pair, she took up waitressing and got married to her boyfriend Ricky Au.

In 2007 they decided to open a restaurant together. They used the money they had saved in a short period of time. In November 2007 Thai Sawasdee Authentic Thai Cuisine was born. It was a tribute and inspiration from her mother that had taught her how to cook as a child. It was a small restaurant but big for her at the time. It was perfect. She would cook all the food herself from scratch all day and all night. It was long and tiresome days but she loved it. She loved cooking for guests and knowing they left full and happy. In 2012 they opened The Spice Club in Niantic. Niantic was renowned as a beach town during the summer but known for its long cold and very slow winters. It was a gamble worth taking for them. In June of 2012 it was opened with open arms from the town of Niantic. It was an instant success from day one. Although Niantic and Groton were successful locations, Mystic was always dear to their hearts. They both loved Mystic for its beauty and how it embodied a classic New England coastal town. Mystic was home for them. When given the opportunity to open a restaurant there they jumped on it. In 2015 Pink Basil was opened in the Olde Mistick village. Although it has some classic Thai cuisine it added a more variety of foods from Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia and Japan. It also has two beautiful patios for outdoor seating.

In Sept 2017, a new member joined the family. They had a baby boy Ethan Au. Even with their hands full with three restaurants and one baby, they decided to open one more location. This would be different than the other locations. During their travels to the city they always had a craving for authentic Japanese Ramen and Japanese BBQ. So in 2018 they opened Samurai Noodle Bar and Grill in the heart of downtown Mystic. The ramen noodle is all made fresh daily with an imported noodle machine imported from Japan. Their are 15 BBQ tables where you order your preference of meat and is cooked at the table. This makes for a great interactive meal. There is a 40 foot bar with 4 large televisions, which makes for a great sports night. While she isn’t working, she takes great joy in taking care of her son Ethan and traveling.

Marie Tyler Wiley, Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Mystic

Born #6 of 10 children, Marie was raised in West Hartford, CT & summered, as did both her parents & grandparents (both sides) down at Groton Long Point. She married her summer love -her husband Kip, who also grew up at “The Point” and they have 4 children- Dillon, Erin, Lucia & Trey.

Marie has always had the entrepreneurial spirit. She brings her expertise & go getter attitude to the Real Estate world determined to share her passion and knowledge of the area with those selling or buying a home . Marie understands this can be a trying time and wants to make the transition as simple and enjoyable as possible.

She resides in Noank where she has been active, in the past, in local & statewide politics and in the local school systems. Having presented testimony before Congress, lobbied in DC on behalf of a national project, Marie’s winning attitude has allowed her to meet with most every member of Congress one on one. Her diligence has resulted in helping shape national laws & local attitudes.

You can depend on Marie‘s zest for life, love of the area and commitment to her real estate career to give you the most when it comes to service. You may teach her at 860-941-9519. Call her today!

Bethany Perkins: Owner, B. Carver’s Home & Gift

After a nearly twenty-year career in the corporate world, Bethany fulfilled her desire of one day owning her own business when she opened B. Carver’s Home & Gift in Mystic in August 2016.

Bethany fashioned her shop on those of past generations that offered quality products, exceptional customer service, and a feeling of family, home, and community. In keeping with that tradition, she offers quality items for oneself, home, entertaining, and gifts.

B. Carver’s continues to evolve and now also offers fine quality women’s apparel along with a selection of jewelry and accessories including handbags, shoes, and scarves.

B. Carver’s is named with love and in honor of Bethany’s beloved grandmother whose maiden name of Carver has been used throughout her family. The name conveys that family is the most important thing and is at the heart of B. Carver’s, a shop that is family-owned and operated as shops were in the past.

For other women whose dream is a business of their own Bethany advises “follow your instincts, give your business time to grow, and don’t be afraid to evolve and change.” Website:

Mary Davis: Owner, Mystic Massage & Wellness

Located in the Heart of Downtown Mystic, Connecticut, our aim is to Ease, Relieve and Relax you; Mind, Body & Soul.

Catering to visitors and locals, We specialize in Therapeutic, Sports and Couples Massage. We're also ecstatic to offer Reiki energy services and skincare such as medical microdermabrasion, custom facials and peels. We love to ensure our guests leave feel RADIANT inside and out.

Donna Williston: Owner, Finer Line Gallery and Framers of the Lost Art

As owner of The Finer Line Gallery and Framers of the Lost Art, Donna has been serving the community for over 35 years, offering expert custom framing, art supplies, art classes, and affordable local art. Just recently she opened The Uptown Gallery at Finer Line, just upstairs from her corner location where some of the best original art in the region is showcased.

She not only has been active in the business community, having served as Board President for the Mystic Chamber of Commerce and various committees, she also played a big role in the founding of the Mystic River Park, serving as its Capital Campaign Chairman in helping raise over a million dollars for the Park’s creation. She was an active Scout leader for over ten years and is the proud parent of her two Eagle Scouts, Christopher & Matthew Williston.

Donna’s latest endeavor has been to become a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services here in Mystic. Her revolving shop door downtown makes it easy for buyers and sellers to connect with each other given the vast network of friends and customers Donna has made over the years. You’ll find her 7 days a week at her shop on the corner…that is, when she’s not out selling houses! Contact her at or call (860) 912-3293.

Susan Fisher: Executive Director, Mystic Museum of Art

I moved to Mystic to assume my current position as Executive Director of the Mystic Museum of Art (MMoA). I came here from Taos where I was Executive Director and Curator of the Taos Art Museum. These were not consecutive steps on a career plan. They were outlets for my love of the practice of art, my reverence for art institutions, and a tendency to think “I could do that” when spotting a particularly appealing opportunity.

In college, I had the good fortune to study what I liked best: art and literature. I liked looking at art, making art, talking about art. I liked the narratives of literature. I appreciated the importance of people’s stories being told, or drawn, or painted, or illuminated. I had no hesitation about going for an MFA in studio art.

Looking for work in the real world, I saw that art institutions needed people who could articulate compelling reasons for supporting the arts. I thought “I could do that.” I had confidence expressing what I thought was important and found fascinating jobs doing so. These jobs formed a pattern. They all had to do with public engagement in the arts.

I gained momentum as I learned along the way. I worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. I helped found an artists’ co-operative. I spoke publicly, I lectured—not to complete a career To Do list, but to stay close to what I wanted: a lifetime in the arts.

Karen Etchells: Owner, INNOVAST Digital Marketing

I launched Innovast Digital Marketing in 2015. As a busy mom working full time, I learned how to build websites back in 1996 by taking evening classes at RISD and practicing what I learned at night while my children were asleep. Over the years, I've held various positions in Website Design and Online Marketing which have given me a firm foundation for the services I now offer.

At Innovast Digital Marketing, we work closely with local businesses and independent professionals to get their brand to stand out on the web. We build websites, write content that is optimized for search engines (SEO), and provide Social Media Management services. We offer monthly subscription packages for small businesses to outsource their digital marketing needs at a fixed rate with speedy turn-around for website updates, ad campaigns, and email blasts.

My advice for women just starting out in business is to establish a support system. If you wear too many hats, you'll run yourself ragged and do nothing exceptionally well. Reach out to other professionals, ask questions, and utilize the services of those who have expertise in areas you don't.

Find Innovast Digital Marketing online at